Monday, February 23, 2009

Just in time, a recipe to help celebrate Mardi Gras and the party pup, OSKAR is ready to get you in the mood

                                                         Artist Michael Osterhout


Even if you are not heading to N'Oleans to party with the masses, you can feed a slew of people with this gumbo and you will have a party in your mouth. You can even make your own creole seasoning. The seasoning recipe nets about four cups, keeps indefinitely, and is nice to have around. If you are a party of one, you'll have plenty of gumbo to freeze.  Heck, you could even open a small, intimate cafe.  Allow yourself plenty of time to make your roux, you will be happy with the results.

Gumbo Ya Ya (from Birmingham News)

1 lb. unsalted butter
3 cups all purpose flour
2 red peppers, medium dice
2 green peppers, medium dice
2 medium onions, medium dice
2 celery stalks, medium dice
1 1/4 gallons (20 cups) chicken stock
2 tablespoons creole seasoning
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried hot red pepper flakes
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 lb. andouille sausage, cut in 1/4 inch slices
3 1/2 lb. chicken, roasted and boned
Hot sauce to taste

Boiled rice

In a 12 quart stock pot, melt butter and add 1/3 of the flour, stir constantly for 30 seconds. Add 1/3 more flour, stir constantly for 30 seconds, add the remaining 1/3 flour. 
Continue to cook until dark mahogany, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir and adjust temp to avoid burning the roux. Then add the peppers, onions, and celery. Add stock, stirring constantly. Add all remaining ingredients except chicken, rice, and hot sauce and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered 45 minutes, skimming off the fat. Add chicken and simmer 15 minutes. Adjust seasonings with hot sauce. Serve over rice.

Creole Seasoning (from Birmingham News)

1 1/2 cup Paprika
3/4 cup ground black pepper
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup granulated garlic
1/3 cup dried thyme
1/3 cup dried oregano
1/3 cup dried basil
1/4 cup granulated onion
1/4 cup cayenne

Combine, store in an airtight container
Makes about 4 cups

And if you want to veer off Gumbo and go a different route, try this Shrimp recipe.  It is devine:

Barbecue Shrimp (adapted from Ralph Brennan’s New Orleans Seafood Cookbook)

12 raw colossal (or the largest you can find) Gulf shrimp, unpeeled with heads and tails left on
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic (2 cloves)
1 tablespoon of water
half of 1 lemon, seeded
1/4 pound (1 stick) of unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch slices

1. Place the unpeeled shrimp, Worcestershire, spices, garlic and 1 tablespoon of water in a heavy 10-inch sautee pan. Squeeze the juice from the lemon half over the shrimp and add rind and pulp to the pan.
2. Over high heat, cook the shrimp while gently stirring and occasionally turning the shrimp.
After about two minutes of cooking, the shrimp should start turning pink on both sides, indicating they are nearly half cooked.
3. If the shrimp are the colossal size, now add 2 tablespoons water to the pan. Otherwise, don’t add water.
4. Reduce the heat to medium-high and continue cooking as you gradually add the cold pieces of butter to the pan. While stirring the shrimp, swirl the butter pieces until they are incorporated into the pan juices, the sauce turns light brown and creamy as it simmers, and the shrimp are just cooked through. This will take about two minutes total if the shrimp are extra-large and about three minutes if they are colossal.
5. Serve immediately with crusty bread for sopping up the sauce and lots of napkins for cleaning your hands. Makes two servings.
Note: If you can’t find shrimp with the heads on, still be sure and use unpeeled shrimp.


  1. Oh my god, that is the best looking dog in the world!

  2. That is the visual definition of spice. Go Oskar and Osterhout.